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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I can afford it this year I may install external steering on my Bravo 1.

I have touched a little on the subject in magazine articles, but does anybody have an idea on how much this will cost me?

Is there really a system that will tie into the existing steering control at the back of the engine. I do know that one way to do it is to install a system that includes the steering wheel control all the way back to the outdrive. Sounds expensive. I have heard in the $2000 range.
But, is there a system (like Lathem) that you can install that will tie into the current steering system that costs less. And will it be worth it?

Any input/advise would be great!
 

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Convincer, I installed the Imco system on my boat. I did the half system and still run the steering on cables, so I have hydraulic at the transom. Best bet is go talk to Lenny over at Milennyum Marine, he is registered as a dealer and will probably give you a better deal than going direct to Imco for the list price. If you are not running 70mph, and I know you want to get a bigger boat, then I don't know if it would be worth it to you.

-Tom
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have heard many people tell me how much better it is to steer especially when turning. More control. Better on the gimbal bearing. But if the price is way out there, probably won't do it.

Tom, can you give me an opproximate price I would be looking at?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bill,

Look around Imco's site, steering systems are in their Nevada catalog - http://www.imcomarine.com/nevadaindex.html

Check the link to steering kits(stern drive). It looks like you can save a cool grand by going with a single ram instead of dual rams, but I don't know what that means for strength or reliability(might be a good question to ask on OSO.) You would also have to get a hose kit(Full Hydraulic / Cable Assist) that would work with your steering control valve(Brazil or Saginaw). I think with the Imco systems, they want you to drill and tap a couple of extra holes in your drive so there's two more bolts to hold their aluminum endcaps on. I'm hoping to get a full hydraulic system this spring, but haven't yet decided on who's to go with. There are a couple of guys on OSO who are now fabricating their own rams and brackets for a lot less than the Imco/Latham/Marine Machine systems. The rest of the systems are pretty uniform (Char lynn helm unit, hoses, control valve adapters, etc.) What to do, what to do....
 

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Follow Bill272's lead, I have a twin out drive set up and its much more expensive.

Truthfully Bill, I ran the Aggressor pretty hard with no hydraulic steering and the little bit it would have given me I felt it wasn't worth the coin. As I recall your boat may run upper 60's, with those speeds I wouldn't be concerned. Weren't you eyeballing that new Nordic
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yah! The more I read, the more I think that it will make more sense not to proceed with the idea.
The Nordic was nice. But wow, what a price tag. For the price of a new Nordic w/ a 496 HO, I could buy a decent used Hustler w/ big power. Just a thought though. Probably be another year or two with the Checkmate. Then think about what's next.
 

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I have had 4 "offshore boat's", 2 with Hyd steering and 2 without. The 2 without did about 70 to 75 and were 24 and 32 ft in length. And didn't really need them. Above 75 it's a must in my opinion. But if your thinking of changing boats the Hyd steering won't bring extra money in the sale. Well not the amount you'll spend.
 

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I've had all three setups on my 32' Sunsation.

1) Cable driven internal steering

2) Hydraulic steering rams tied into cable helm

3) Full hydraulic

Setup #1 was what I originally bought the boat with. With 454 MAG EFI's, I was going about 76 - 78 mph. I never had any problems with the steering on the boat. Everything felt tight and there was never any hint of slop in the steering.

After the first year of owning the boat, I added the Whipple superchargers and decided to also upgrade the steering. The choice was made to simply go with a the "tie in" system (setup #2). I added Warlock Performance Marine (WPM) steering rams to the transom and tied it into the stock cable drive.

This setup SUCKED!!!

The steering feel was really vague and had tons of slack in it. What made matters worse, was that the drives would become damn near impossible to turn if the one engine supplying all the hydraulic pressure decided to quit. I had this happen to me twice while underway. It was VERY scary, hardly representative of the "safety" factor I've been told external steering brings to the boat. Also, when I would try to muscle the drives around with a dead engine, the cable helm would become increasingly more and more stretched making the "slop" problem worse as time went on.

It only took me one season of running like this to make me realize a hydraulic helm (setup #3) was the only way for me to go. Indeed, it adds a significant cost to the price of the project (about $1000) but well worth the $$$ in my opinion. Even without the engine running, the drives can still easily be turned at the helm without stretching any mechanical linkages.

If I were you, I would simply run the boat as is for the next year or two, then step up to something you are going to be happier with for the next ten years or so. Adding external steering to you boat is not going to help the resale value in any way, and frankly, you probably don't need it.

Just my $0.02

-A
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Fella's

That is what I will do. Just wait for the next boat. It will probably have ext. Steering cuz' it will have BIG power!!!!!!


Thanks again
 
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